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BNY Mellon to relocate HQ in Manhattan

| Thursday, June 26, 2014, 3:27 p.m.

Bank of New York Mellon said on Thursday it will move its headquarters from one Lower Manhattan location to another as part of its ongoing efforts to cut costs.

BNY Mellon, the world's largest custody bank, signed a 20-year lease for 350,000 square feet at 225 Liberty St.

A month ago, BNY Mellon announced a $585 million deal to sell its headquarters at One Wall Street to Macklowe Properties. No employees are expected to relocate to Pittsburgh as part of the transition, nor is Pittsburgh staff expected to move to Manhattan, the bank said.

However, BNY Mellon said it would continue to evaluate whether any part of its operation can relocate to Pittsburgh, its largest location with 7,600 employees, as it consolidates and streamlines operations.

“As Pittsburgh is one of our Global Delivery Centers, we are always determining if any part of our operations can move there,” spokesman Ron Gruendl said.

BNY Mellon has come under fire for lagging behind competitors in attracting retail investors to investment products, managing expenses and growth. Some shareholders want the company to sell its investment management business and do more to cut costs.

Last month, BNY Mellon said it was selling the historic 50-story Art Deco tower that it has occupied since 1989 to “eliminate unnecessary space and improve efficiency.” That announcement followed news that it was laying off staff and exploring the sale of its corporate trust unit, which has become less profitable since the financial crisis. The decision of whether to sell the corporate trust business is expected to be made in the third quarter.

BNY Mellon said it would take an $80 million to $100 million severance charge in the second quarter for unspecified cuts to its workforce.

Some workers in Pittsburgh have lost their jobs, though the bank has not disclosed their job functions or how many have been affected. Gruendl emphasized that BNY Mellon's Pittsburgh workforce “stayed flat for quite a few years.”

“We had displacements in the second quarter of the year, which goes until Monday, because we're taking a $100 million severance charge in the second quarter,” Gruendl said. “Pittsburgh's been affected for sure, but we're remaining above 7,600.”

BNY Mellon shuffled top executives recently. This week, it announced it was adding responsibilities to two executives who have worked to improve financial performance and add customers.

BNY Mellon will report its corporate earnings on July 18.

Chris Fleisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or cfleisher@tribweb.com.

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